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Policy Debate Immigration Arguments from Camp PLUS Millennial Resources

Policy Debate Immigration Arguments from Camp PLUS Millennial Resources

Camp Lectures

Daily Politics Update  Daily Immigration Update 


Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce its restrictions on legal immigration to the United States

There are a number of topicality arguments in these files —

— The plan has to reduce a restriction on citizenship
— Regulation is not a restriction
— Restrictions are not caps
— Restrictions are legally binding, are conditions, are restraints on action, are not prohibitions
— Legal immigration has to be admission
— Excludes non-immigrants
— Excludes refugees
— Excludes undocumented
— Restrictions are quantitative
— Plan has to be Legal Permanent Residence (LPR)

Consolidated Millennial file

See our updated framework files!


The policy cases generally focuses on admitting a category of individuals to the United States.  Based the number of camp files in a particular section, you can gauge the popularity of the cases and the likelihood that you will debate it during the year.

Domestic violence. The Trump administration is limiting the number of people who can claim asylum based on domestic violence (they no longer want to include domestic violence as a rationale for asylum). This case claims that domestic violence victims should be eligible for asylum and it claims gender violence, human rights, and international law advantages. This case is also called PSG Asylum –

Lawful Permanent Residence (LPR) Visas. This case claims that spouses and partners who are in the US because they are married to a visa holder can be abused and not have anywhere to turn because they could be deported. This case claims that category should be expanded in

Another cases expands LPRs for victims of human trafficking and claims humanitarian leadership and reduced trafficking advantages.

DREAM Act. This case claims that Congress should pass the DREAM Act to provide a path to citizenship for those who came here illegally as children. It claims a number of advantages, including basic fairness, US innovation/technological leadership/competitiveness, and humanitarianism oriented advantages.

Family immigration. This case claims that entire families should be allowed to immigrate because it will reduce the flow of remittances back home and that remittances are bad because they undermine sustainable development and are diverted to many illicit purposes.

Asylum detention.  This case argues the US should end pretrial detention of asylum seekers.

Travel Ban. This case claims the travel ban increases terror recruiting, that it destroys US soft power, that it exacerbates the shortage of health care workers, that it undermines techolog development, and that it generally hurts the economy.

H1-B/high skills workers. This case argues that the category of H1-B visas should be expanded in order to attract more high skilled workers to the US. Advantages include strengthening competitiveness, promoting US military leadership and hegemony, promoting innovation, improving US health care, and enabling the US to build leadership in artificial intelligence (AI) – an entire case was written about this at Northwestern.

Camp files —

Millennial files–

There is also a version that focuses on EB5 visas rather than H1-B visas.

There is also a version that provides specific visas for entrepreneurs.

Similarly, there is a case that provides a visa to anyone who obtains a STEM degree.

Nurses. This case claims that we need to let in more nurses in order to strengthen our health care, reduce the spread of disease, and increase remittances in order to help developing countries.

Path to citizenship. This is a general immigration case that generally makes it easier for immigrants to become citizens. It claims to strengthen the economy and support US agriculture.

Refugees. This case argues we reverse Trump’s refugee restrictions (he want from 100K admitted to 50K admitted) and claims that doing so would protect US refugee leadership, which is necessary to take the pressure off of Europe (admitting too many refugees could collapse European countries), solve humanitarian refugee problems, stop the collapse of many states in the developing world, and reduce terrorist recruiting. Three are also ethical/moral claims.

Camp files —

Millennial Files —

There is a case that focuses specifically on Syrian refugees, claiming that accepting more Syrian refugees is the moral thing to do, that it takes pressure of Syria enabling it to solve the Syrian civil war, and that it would improve US soft power and US-European relations

Translators. This case claims that the US should grant citizenship to more individuals who translate for the US military and that such an action would increase the number of people in Iraq and Afghanistan who are willing to translate, making it possible for the US military to stabilize those countries. It’s also referred to as Special Immigrant Visas.

Kritik Cases

Open borders. This case claims that the US should imagine completely opening its borders as a humanitarian and ethical gesture. It argues that borders are artificial political constructs that promote violence.

This case draws from the same literature as the “Borders K.”

Camp Files —


While debaters often focus on what case they are debating, there are many common advantages that debaters should prep.  If they start by preparing to debate these general advantages, they will be well prepared with defense against most cases and it will be easier for them to be more prepared against many different cases because then they can start simply by having disadvantage links against the various plans.  To prepare, debaters should understand and be ready to answer the following advantages.

Economy.  The US economy is quite strong now, but increasing immigration could stimulate the economy further or prevent  a further downturn.

Innovation. Immigrants often bring high tech skills and an entrepreneurial spirit that can drive innovation, providing solutions to pressing problems such as climate change, the spread of diseases, and applications in computer science and robotics.

Climate change.  The ability to solve climate change is a common impact to many advantages, including innovation. I highlight this specific argument because it is good to always have ready answers to this advantage.

Military readiness.  Immigrants play an important role in the US military and technological advancements support many defense applications.

Soft power. Soft power refers to the idea of how much other countries like a particular country.  If US soft power is high it is because the US is well received by other countries. There are many aspects of soft power, including popular culture, but our current immigrant policies, especially the travel ban and restrictions asylum seekers, have really undermined US soft power. Soft power is important to developing cooperative solutions to global problems and supporting military alliances  and free trade.

Hegemony. Hegemony refers to overall US power and leadership. It is made up of economic power, military power, and soft power, so hegemony is often a terminal impact to the advantages that are identified and it is one of the most common impacts in debate.  There are many camp files on hegemony and a Millennial update on soft power and international cooperation in the age of Trump.

Camp Files —

Millennial Files —

International law.  The US has obligations under many international legal conventions to support immigrants. Accepting more immigrants could strengthen international law.

Morality. Countries arguably have a moral obligation to help immigrants and these advantages/claims can be found in many cases.  There is also a general Millennial file that has answers to moral obligations and our core refugees file contains a lot of evidence on this question. The Imperialism kritik also has a lot of evidence that US human rights norms and values are imperialistic.

Terrorism.  Affirmative teams will claim that failing to help immigrants, particularly refugees, will make it easier for terrorists to recruit them.

State collapse. If countries do not accept refugees, some states (countries) may experience too much pressure and may collapse.  This will increase the risk of terrorism, instability, and warfare.

Camp files —

Most of the advantage evidence is buried in the camp-specific cases, but since there are many common advantages I highly encourage you to both consolidate your advantage answers and to look in many cases for evidence that you may wish to read in your advantages.

Millennial files —

All Millennial advantage impacts and answers


Brain Drain & Remittances

These disadvantages are similar in that they argue that increasing immigration to the US will harm developing countries.   The first disadvantage – “brain drain” – argues that it taking bright, ambitious people out of developing countries hurts the economic development of those countries. There is a particular emphasis on India, as a lot of high skilled immigration comes from India.

Camp files —

Millennial files

A second and similar disadvantage is Remittances – money that is sent back from immigrants to their home countries. This disadvantage argues it is bad to send the money back because it funds Mexican drug cartels. Teams have to be careful when running this disadvantage because “remittances” good – remittances support economic development — is a common turn to Brain Drain

Camp files  —

Court Disadvantages

Immigration restrictions could be lessened through Supreme Court action that argues such restrictions are illegitimate for a number of reasons. If the plan uses court action, there are a couple of disadvantages that teams can use

Court clog. This disadvantage argues that providing rights protections for some immigrants will encourage others to make claims in the courts, clogging the courts. Clogging the courts can mean delayed justice and make it difficult for other important types of lawsuits to go forward. This could undermine the protection of other rights.

Judicial activism. This disadvantage argues that the role of the courts is to interpret the Constitution and legislation and not to make such legislation. The disadvantage argues that if the courts do this they become “activist” and usurp the role of the legislature in a democratic form of government. This is undemocratic because the legislature is a large, deliberative body.

Political Question Doctrine. This disadvantage argues that immigration is ultimately a “political question” and not one that should be resolved by the courts.

Plenary Power. This disadvantages argues that immigration is a Plenary Power of the President and that court intervention in this area undermines presidential power.

Camp files —

Immigration Bad

There are a number of reasons that increasing immigration may be bad

Wages. This disadvantage argues that increasing the number of workers will put downward pressure on wages, threatening the economy. It is probably the most popular disadvantage at camps.

Camp files —

Unions good. Increasing immigration will increase the number of workers, undermining the bargaining power of unions with companies. This could result in the loss of unions and the loss of labor protections.

Camp files —

Interest rate increases bad. Adding many immigrants could stimulate the economy, pushing the Fed to raise interest rates.

Environment. Adding more people could putt pressure on the environment. Since people in the US consume a lot of energy, this could significantly increase global warming and cause other forms of environmental damage.

Camp files —

Terrorism. Increasing the number of immigrants could increase the risk that terrorists make it to the US.

Camp files —

Millennial —

Natavist backlash. This disadvantage argues that increasing immigration levels will produce a racist, natavist backlash against immigration.


UCIS clog. This disadvantage argues that processing more immigrants will lead to backlogs in the US Customs and Immigration services visa processing, making it more difficult to get critical doctors and nurses into the US.

De-development. This disadvantage argues that an economic crash would be good because it would encourage a transition away from economic growth and capitalism that will kill us all.

Camp files —

Millennial files —

Comprehensive Immigration Reform.  This disadvantage argues that small scale changes to immigration will undermine comprehensive immigration reform.

Camp files —


There are three different politics disadvantages

Conservative base. This disadvantage argues that liberal immigration reforms will alienate Trump’s conservative base and that a loss of base support means he’ll lash out at North Korea or Iran, triggering an uclear war.

Wall horse trade. This disadvantage argues that the only way a liberal immigration reform will happen now is if there Congress agrees to build a wall. The impact is that it’s bad to build a wall.

Camp files —

Midterms. This disadvantage argues that liberal immigration reforms make it more or less likely that the Republicans will keep control of the House and/or the Senate. The impact debate is about whether or not this control is good.

Camp files —

Millennial files —


Advantage Counterplans.  Advantage counterplans take some other policy action to solve the case advantages (carbon tax to solve climate change, for example) and have disadvantages that stem from topical action (increased immigration, politics with immigration links). Popular counterplans produced at camp include increased STEM funding, increase military funding, improved trade and military cooperation with India, integrating Indian into one road, one belt, increasing F1 visas, increased disease monitoring and awareness, R&D support for US industries, expanded food aid, telehealth, science diplomacy, and reduced targeted killings,  increased offshoring, human rights impact statements, and disarmament, demoblization, and reintegration (DDR) to prevent state collapse.

States counterplan. States have limited authority to increase certain types of visas.

Court counterplan. Instead of having Congress act, the courts (the federal courts or (more likely, more importantly) the Supreme Court could rule that  current legislation requires the executive to act to implement the affirmative plan. Politics disadvantages are usually the net-benefits.

Canada counterplan. This counterplan has Canada accept the refugees.

Temporary/Parole counterplan. This counterplan has the US grant temporary/parole status to [insert group] and continue to renew it in the future. Negative teams claim this approach creates less political and nativist backlash.

Auctions counterplan.  This counterplan has the United States federal government should establish an independent Standing Commission on Immigration of nonpartisan economists charged with the mandate to set up and administer a quarterly, sealed bid auction with a price band and a resale market that replaces visas for employment-based legal permanent residents. The number of permits issued to employers to sponsor employment-based legal permanent residents should be adjusted quarterly based upon the price at auction. The number of visas issued should initially stay within existing caps but in the subsequent quarter should be adjusted up or down depending upon the auction price. If the allocation of permits disproportionately favors large companies, the United States federal government should set aside an adequate number of permits on which for small companies to bid.

Family Reallocation. This counterplan has  the United States federal government should repeal the per-country quota cap and substantially reallocate green cards for high skilled workers in the United States from family visas.

Camp files


As of today (7-16), the kritik section of this website (for the both the Affirmative and the Negative) need additional work. This will be updated as more content becomes available.

Borders. This kritik argues that instead of having a process for immigration that we should have completely Open Borders.

Camp files —

Capitalism/Neoliberalism. This is certainly the world’s most popular kritik and it links to both Policy and Performance-style kritik cases. The link to the policy cases is that the Affirmative doesn’t solve the underlying problem and that capitalism is responsible for said problem. The link to the performance cases is that we have to start by tackling structural problems in order to create social change. There are also good links to “race” arguments that say we need to start with a kritik of capital, not race.

Camp files —

Millennial files —

Afropessimism. This kritik claims that racial oppression can’t be solved, at least within the current order.

Camp files  —

Millennial files —

Settler Colonialism. This kritik argues that immigration policy is managed by a sovereign in a way that does not respect the territory of indigenous people

Camp files —

Agamben. This kritik argues that the legal process of immigration strengthens the power of the state over the individual.

Gender.  This kritik argues that immigration law and policy are masculine

Nationalism.  The plan’s approach to immigration policy is steeped in methodological nationalism which adopts a nation-state view and draws distinctions between valuable high skilled immigrants, and the devalued masses of other migrants.  National identity prevents an effective response to global problems — only articulating a shared identity can prevent extinction.

Imperialism.  Asylum law and narratives surrounding LGBT rights position the U.S. as the moral arbiter of global human rights. This legitimizes racialized, imperial violence cloaked in humanitarianism.

Visas K. Available through Millennial, this kritik argues that the visa process is biopolitical.

Camp files —

Millennial files